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Derby Hats Chicago

Kentucky Derby Hats Chicago from Paula Hardesty Blog

Derby Hats Chicago

The Kentucky Derby is one of the most celebrated sporting events in the world. It has come to be known as the most exciting two minutes in sports. The big event has taken place in Louisville, Kentucky on the first Saturday of May since 1985 and has since amassed many traditions. The mint julep has become the signature beverage for the event. The race is oft referred to as the “Run of the Roses,” as the winner is blanketed in 554 red roses. Yet, perhaps one of the most exciting traditions is the lavish dress donned by the lady spectators, most especially their hats. The more outrageous, over-the-top, and embellished -the better. Some say wearing a hat to the Kentucky Derby bears good luck and though traditionally donned by women, men have begun partaking in the tradition over the last few years, too.

Getting dressed for the Derby is like getting into costume. You can be as creative and as outlandish as you please. There are no rules or limits. Generally speaking, most women wear wide-brimmed hats embellished with ribbons, bows, feathers, flowers, and lots of color. It’s an opportunity to truly express one’s unique style and creativity. With the Derby just over a month away, it’s time to start planning your outfit. Whether you’re attending the actual race in Louisville or you’re watching on a big screen somewhere with friends you’re going to want to dress the part. Chicago, we’ve got you covered. We’ve put together a list of hat shops, millineries, and some other creative ideas to help you find the best Kentucky Derby hats Chicago has available.

Though we’ve shared our list below we want to add one more very special option for you to shop Derby Hats Chicago on Thursday, May 2, 2013 with Hats by Angela Moreno. Shop her ready-made collection or custom order your very own design. Angela Morano will be at Rara Avis Boutique on May 2nd for First Thursdays Lincoln Park. Please see all event details here.

Custom Derby Hats Chicago at First Thursdays Lincoln Park

One of my personal favorites on the list is the infamous Goorin Bros with two locations in Chicago. One in Wicker Park (1533 N Milwaukee Ave) and one in Lakeview (3243 N Broadway St). Their hats vary in prices and you can definitely find some reasonable deals alongside some much higher end options. Other possibilities for Derby hats Chicago offers are:

Now, most of the aforementioned shops and boutiques will be a bit on the costlier side but you will most definitely find something lavish and spectacular to complete your Kentucky Derby look.  However, if you’re looking to save some money we’ve got some additional suggestions for you to find more reasonably priced Kentucky Derby hats Chicago based or really anywhere you plan to celebrate. The following list of Derby hats Chicago isn’t a guarantee you will find the perfect hat but a good possibility you will find something Derby-worthy.

  • Forver 21 – 34 S State St; 540 N Michigan; 865 W North Ave)
  • Target – 2656 N Elston Ave; 1154 S Clark St; 1 S State St; 4466 N Broadway Ave
  • Hollywood Mirror – 812 N Dayton St (near the Clark/Belmont intersection)
  • Ragstock – 812 W Belmont St; 1433 N Milwaukee Ave; also in Schaumburg & Oak Brook

If none of these options suit your fancy, there may be just enough time to order online and still get your hat in time for the Derby. Here are a couple online stores with an array of options in a variety of price points for anyone looking for Kentucky Derby hats Chicago or elsewhere.

If none of the above Derby hats Chicago options work for you we suggest truly letting your creative juices flow and crafting your very own Kentucky Derby hat. Purchase a basic hat – wide-brimmed or otherwise – and head to one of the following craft stores to purchase all your embellishments. Remember to go all out. The bigger the better so add flowers, feathers, ribbons, bows, and lots of colors.

Well, we sure hope our list of places to find the perfect Kentucky Derby hats Chicago or otherwise is helpful. If you purchase a hat from any of the above places, please take a photo of yourself during your Derby celebration and upload to our Facebook page: so we can see how fabulous you look!

Sources used for this piece: Kentucky Derby; Hats; Kentucky Derby Party; Wikipedia; and Yelp

Kentucky Derby Hats Chicago from Horse Races

Kentucky Derby Hats Chicago from Frockable – Click this photo to see some of the most outlandish Derby hats

Kentucky Derby Hats Chicago from Patty Gopez

If you won’t be in Louisville, Kentucky for the actual Derby, there will be plenty of places in Chicago showcasing the big event. Be sure to subscribe to Now You Know Events as we will be listing a bunch of Derby parties happening in Chicago. in the meantime here is the actual Derby schedule from


The 139th Kentucky Derby Saturday May 4 4:00 – 7:00 PM ET* NBC
Derby Classics Wednesday May 1 4:00-5:00 PM ET* NBCSN
Draw Wednesday May 1 5:00-6:00 PM ET* NBCSN
Derby Classics Thursday May 2 4:00-5:00 PM ET* NBCSN
Derby Access Thursday May 2 5:00-6:00 PM ET* NBCSN
Derby Classics Friday May 3 4:00-5:00 PM ET* NBCSN
Kentucky Oaks Friday May 3 5:00-6:00 PM ET* NBCSN
Derby Prep Saturday May 4 11:00-4:00 PM ET* NBCSN
Derby Post Saturday May 4 7:00-7:30 PM ET* NBCSN

Katie Cahmann